Blog: How would I describe my three-month internship at ACOSVO? Bloody brilliant! And I will tell you why...

Over the past three months, ACOSVO has had Belgian student Erika Kraus intern for us. She shares her experiences working in the third sector for the first time and her overall journey with ACOSVO. We will definitely miss having you around the office! We wish you all the best in the future and be sure to come back and visit us soon.


When I applied for the intern position at ACOSVO, I had no idea what to expect. I had zero knowledge about the third sector in Belgium - let alone in Scotland! But I am so happy I took the plunge because not only did I learn more about the third sector, I also got to work with the most amazing team ever, which I really felt a part of.

 

There was never a boring day in the office. I had plenty of variation in my work and plenty of tasks to manage. I got to show off my Office prowess and sometimes I even got to be an Excel teacher. It was great that I could put my skills to good use and help my colleagues whenever and with whatever. At times I was the office's jack of all trades. I got to build IKEA desks, desk chairs and cardboard post boxes and I helped keeping the new office plant alive. I really enjoy DIY-ing so I took on that role with pleasure. I also had the opportunity to unleash my inner graphic designer. I was asked to create an ACOSVO banner and I delivered. It started with a vague idea and blossomed into an amazing promotional banner that will be used at events. On a side note, there was a lot of teamwork involved in this and everyone deserves an honourable mention for this fantastic piece of art/work. I also got to make leaflets for ACOSVO’s Mentoring Programme showing the evolution, interesting statistics and experiences. I absolutely loved being creative whilst still doing important work that matters. A more ‘serious’ job was creating the biennial member and non-member surveys. This was a big responsibility with a lot of small deadlines. I had to organise meetings and keep an overview of the team’s feedback. It all came down to teamwork again and that is what ACOSVO excels at. When the survey responses poured in, I collected all the information in a final report so the team can make an action plan on how to take things further.

 

When I was putting the 2018 storybook together, I noticed that all the pictures show how genuine and tightknit the team is and all I can say is that pictures say more than a thousand words ever could. From the moment you walk into the office, you feel welcome and "at home". There are a lot of different personalities but everyone will always have everyone's back and that is something to be treasured. I can only talk in superlatives about the ACOSVO team. I honestly could not have wished for a better team to get thrown into.

 

Near the end of my internship, I was getting aware of the fact that I only had a certain amount of days left. And I didn’t particularly like it. I was wishing I could add on another three months. The team surprised me one week before my last day with a leaving lunch. I also got lots of cool presents and an amazing goodbye card. That day we also celebrated two birthdays and in the evening we went to see stand-up comedian Larry Dean. It was such an amazing day, definitely one for the books! My last day however was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Saying final goodbyes to everyone and not going back to the office the next day really hit me. But I left with a big smile on my face because when I look back on this adventure I will always have these great and amazing memories.

 

To sum it up, I wished for an internship abroad and what I got was far better than I ever could have dreamt of. The only thing I can say is thank you so much to everyone and I am going to miss you like crazy!

 

-Erika